Innovative Equal Pay Bills Filed in Massachusetts
Tuesday October 18, 2011: Kate Bryant asks me for the documentary The Earning Curve (unfortunately yet to be released), “What policies would you create to fix the gender pay gap?”
Friday January 16, 2015: Equal Pay Bills are filed in Massachusetts House and Senate that include the three policies I proposed in my response.
It’s been an interesting and educational 3+ years since stating that
- The elimination of previous salary from the hiring process
- The inclusion of pay minimums in job advertisements and
- Allowing employees to discuss their own pay without fear of losing their job
would help move the stubborn gender pay gap needle. It has hovered around 77% for more than a decade and is estimated not to close until 2058. I focused on working with clients and not on policy back in 2011. I knew what I would do but was not well-versed on the matter. The elimination of previous salary and inclusion of minimum pay in job advertisements were not being discussed as solutions to the problem back then. The discussion broadens with the filing of these bills. The potential to see the impact of these provisions plus a provision to ensure all employees are paid based on skill, effort, responsibility, and working conditions now exists.
It has been a journey that has introduced and indebted me to some amazing people. Nacie Carson, sister Holy Cross alum, introduced me to Leah Moschella of Boston Glow who introduced me to Dave Rini of Mass NOW. Inga Schowengerdt and Liz Fragola of AAUW MA and Patricia Ho, AAUW National President, reached out to me at one of their amazing events and brought me into the organization. The Mass NOW Legislative Task Force (with a special nod to Patricia Hohl who takes my business speak and makes it legal language), The Women’s Bar Association, and The Mass Commission on the Status of Women joined forces to develop the Mass Equal Pay Bill and the ever-expanding members of the Equal Pay Coalition who actively support the bill. Of course, the bills would not exist without Senator Patricia Jehlen, Senator Karen Spilka, Representative Jay Livingstone, and Representative Ellen Story who are filing them today. To every one mentioned and the countless others who have helped along the way, thank you for your support, friendship, leadership, mentorship, collaboration, and the many shared laughs.
True as of today, January 16th, the bill is at the starting line of a long marathon. These past 3+ years were just the training to get to this line. Here’s to seeing when we cross the finish line and this Equal Pay Bill becomes law.